SYLLABUS

Click on links to get to information and questions about the authors and works

illustration from Zamiatin's WE

WEEK 1

January 22: Background, reading list, syllabus; discuss final reading

January 24: Konstantin Tsiolkovskii, "On the Moon: A Fantastic Tale," plus Nikolai Fyodorov, "The Question of Brotherhood..." - both on Moodle.

Information on Tsiolkovsky and Fyodorov and questions for reading

WEEK 2

 

January 29: Nikolai Chernyshevsky, "Vera Pavlovna's Dream," Worlds Apart, pp. 248-58; Fyodor Dostoevsky, "The Grand Inquisitor" (Bookstore) and "Dream of a Ridiculous Man," Worlds Apart, pp. 276-90; Nikolai Chernyshevsky, "Vera Pavlova's Fourth Dream," Worlds Apart, pp. 248-58.

Information and Questions on Dostoevsky and Chernyshevsky

January 31: Aleksandr Bogdanov, Red Star, introduction, pp. 1-16, and 17-140

Information and Questions on Bogdanov

 

WEEK 3

Monday, February 4 - Ivan Vasil'evich (1973, comedy directed by Leonid Gaidai, with English subtitles)

Kohlberg 328, 7:00 p.m. (the film is 138 minutes long)

February 5: Valery Briusov, "The Republic of the Southern Cross," WA, 303-17; Alexander Kuprin, "The Toast" and "Liquid Sunshine," WA, 348-92.

Information and Questions on Briusov and Kuprin

February 7: Karel Čapek, R.U.R.

Information and Questions on Čapek and R.U.R. 

 

WEEK 4

February 12: Evgenii Zamiatin, We

Information and Questions on We

February 14: Alexei N. Tolstoy, from "Aèlita, Queen of Mars," Worlds Apart, pp. 555-83; clip from Yakov Protazanov's Aèlita; Andrei Platonov, from "The Sun, the Moon, and the Ether Channel," in Worlds Apart, pp. 584-615

Information and Questions on Aèlita

Information and Questions on Platonov and The Sun, the Moon, and the Ether Channel

Possible topics for the first paper, due February 26

WEEK 5

February 19: Vladimir Nabokov, Invitation to a Beheading, Foreword and Chapters 1-20

Information and Questions on Nabokov and Invitation to a Beheading

February 21: Mikhail Bulgakov, "The Fatal Eggs," Worlds Apart, pp. 471-529

Information and Questions on Bulgakov's "Fatal Eggs"

WEEK 6

 

February 26: Zamiatin, "On Literature, Revolution, Entropy, and Other Matters" (on Moodle)

Anindita Banerjee will visit our class and then give a talk in the evening: 7:30 p.m. in the Scheuer Room, Kohlberg Hall

FIRST PAPER DUE  Feb 26!

 

February 27: Informal conversation with Dr. Banerjee in Kohlberg 328, starting at 4:30 p.m. (The first chapter of her book is on the Moodle page so you can read it before meeting with her.)


February 28: Karel Čapek, War with the Newts, Book One, pp. 9-114

Information and Questions on Čapek's War with the Newts

Big Issues in the course to date

WEEK 7

March 5: Karel Čapek, War with the Newts, Books Two and Three, pp. 117-241

March 7: Josef Nesvadba, "Expedition in the Opposite Direction," pp. 50-84, and "Inventor of His Own Undoing," pp. 142-164 (on Moodle)

Information and Questions on Nesvadba

 

SPRING BREAK
 

WEEK 8

March 19: Ivan Efremov, from The Andromeda Nebula, in Worlds Apart, pp. 616-46; Sofya Khagi, "On Contemporary Russian Fantasy and Science Fiction," WA, pp. 647-50.

Information and Questions on Efremov

March 21: Soviet SF stories: Vladlen Bakhnov, "The Fifth on the Left," pp. 142-55; Sever Gansovsky, "Vincent Van Gogh," pp. 52-118; Ilya Varshavsky, "No Alarming Symptoms," pp. 1-14 (on Moodle)

Information and Questions on these writers and stories

 

WEEK 9

March 26: Stanisław Lem, Solaris

Information and Questions on Lem and Solaris

Midtern exam due!

Big Issues in Solaris

March 28: Arkadii and Boris Strugatsky, Escape Attempt pp. 3-100 (on Moodle)

Information and questions about the Strugatskys and Escape Attempt

 

WEEK 10

April 2: Arkadii and Boris Strugatsky, Roadside Picnic

Information and questions about Roadside Picnic  

April 4: Kirill Bulychëv, "I Was the First to Find You," pp. 50-63, "May I Please Speak to Nina?" pp. 78-90, "Snowmaiden," pp. 103-13 (on Moodle)

Information and Questions on Bulychëv

 

WEEK 11

April 9: Stanisław Lem, The Cyberiad: Fables for the Cybernetic Age

Information and questions about Cyberiad

April 7: Some Theory and Criticism: Stefan Kisielewski, "What is Socialist Literature," and Stefan Zolkiewski, "Is 'Socialist Literaure' Enough?," pp. 366-372; Mary Roach, "In Space, Nice Guys Finish First," pp. 1-2; Stanislaw Lem, "About the Strugatskys' Roadside Picnic," pp. 243-78; Fredric Jameson, "Vareties of the Utopian," pp. 1-9; Carl Freedman, "Science Fiction and Critical Theory," pp. 180-200 (on Moodle)

Brief introductions to the authors of these texts

WEEK 12

April 16: More Soviet SF stories: Olga Larionova, "Temira," pp. 1-30; Larionova, "The Useless Planet," pp. 80-121; Valentina Zhuravleva, "The Brat," pp. 31-40 (also available as "Hussy" in another translation, if you're interested in comparing them, pp. 143-151) (all on Moodle)

Information and questions about Larionova and Zhuravleva

LONG PAPER OR WEB PRESENTATION DUE!

April 18: Lem, Futurological Congress, pp. 1-149

Information and questions on Lem's Futurological Congress

 

WEEK 13

April 23: Viktor Pelevin, Omon Ra

Information about Pelevin and questions on Omon Ra

 

April 25: Dmitry Glukhovsky, Metro 2033, pp. 1-182

Information and questions about Glukhovsky and Metro 2033

WEEK 14

April 30: Glukhovsky, Metro 2033, pp. 183-458

More questions about Metro 2033

May 2: Final discussion.

SPECIAL PROJECT DUE!

Let me know if you have questions about the Special Project.

Final Examination will be a three-hour self-scheduled written exam, due to me no later than May 18.